U20 Summer Series Day 2

France, England and Italy made it two from two in the Women’s Summer Series in Parma.

Published by Rugby Italia; Six Nations, July 9th, 2024

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U20 Summer Series Day 2

Italy 24 Ireland 17

The second day of the U20 Women's Summer Series brought smiles again on the coach of the Azzurrine Diego Saccà. Against Ireland, Italy puts on a show of strength and awareness, winning 17-24.

The heat of the day affected the match. In the 22nd minute of the first half the Italian defence was unlocked with a try by Irish captain Neill. Five minutes later Vittoria Zanette leveled the scores with a try. It remained 7-7 at half-time.

In the second half, two tries by Busana and one by Copat took the match to 24-7. Ireland replied with two tries from hooker Burke, but time ran out for Irish hopes. The match ends 24017, leaving the young Azzurre with the joy of having won both matches played so far in the competition.

Ireland v Italy 17-24 (7-7)

1st half 22' try Neill conv. O'Sullivan-Sexton (7-0); 27' try Zanette conv. Busana (7-7)

2nd half 10' try Busana (7-12); 15' try Busana (7-17); 26' try Copy conv Busana (7-24); 33' try K.Burke (12-24); 40' try K. Burke (17-24)

Ireland: Gallagher; O'Connor, Linn, Dhonnacha, C. Barrett; O'Sullivan-Sexton, Goulding; Neill (Cap), Murtagh, Oviawe; Chonchobhair, Campbell; S.Barrett, McQuade, G.Burke. Other entries: K.Burke, Wilson, Maher, Morris, Heylmann, Gaffney, Flannery, Clarke

Italy: Grassi; Cecati, Pellizzon, Corradini, Busana; Mannini, Mastrangelo; Errichiello (Cap), Jelic, Tonellotto; Costantini , Della Sala; Maione, Cheli, Zanette. Other entries: Spinelli, Cittadini, Fortuna, Andreoli, Copat, Bitonci, Pirpiliu, Zeni

France 69 Scotland 10

Les Bleues surpassed the 57 points they scored against Wales in round one with four tries in the first half and seven in the second but were helped on their way by a litany of Scottish injuries.

Scotland lost two players inside the opening moments and played the final half hour with 14 women after their tighthead resources were depleted early in the second half.

France were at their ruthless best though and will be eager to wrap up an unbeaten tournament when they take on England on Sunday.

Scotland earlier got off to the worst possible start, losing both prop Chloe Brown and second row Ellie Williamson to injury inside the opening two minutes.

But they recovered smartly and scored the first points of the match after nine minutes when flanker Gemma Bell powered over.

They continued to be dogged by bad luck on the injury front though with tighthead Molly Poolman the third Scotland casualty in a chaotic first 10 minutes.

France found their rhythm just before the first-half water break and scored their first try through Suliana Sivi after brilliant work from scrum-half Anna De Almeida.

Hawa Tounkara hit the upright from the resulting conversion in front of the sticks but made amends just moments later, scoring her second try of the series.

It was her tip pass which set full-back Kelly Arbey free and she worked hard to keep up with play, making herself available for a return pass before dotting down.

Arbey was proving a tricky customer and was denied from close range before fly-half Enoe Neri pulled the trigger prematurely as her cross-kick was charged down.

Wing Lea Trollier then scored a walk-in try after more neat backs lay with a dominant scrum affording France a supremely solid foundation.

France were held up in search of a fourth try but it did arrive before the break as prop Amalia Bazola burrowed over to push France into a 26-7 half-time lead, despite Scotland enjoying the majority of possession.

Scotland centre Lucy Macrae missed a penalty attempt just before the interval but kick-started the second half with an impressive strike from distance to hand her side a mini boost.

But France put the game to bed with two quickfire scores from scrum-half De Almeida and flanker Patrice-Grace Libali.

It went from bad to worse for Scotland as replacement prop Eilidh Fleming limped off and with no further tighthead options in the 23, Claire Cruikshank’s side had to play the remainder of the game with 14 while uncontested scrums were introduced.

Eneka Labeyrie then got on in the act before Taina Maka set up back row colleague and captain Zoe Jean to take France to 50 points just after the hour mark.

The scoring continued in the final quarter with Mae Levy hacking on to register her second try of the tournament before Arbey and Alice Grandhomme added their names to the scoresheet in the closing moments.

England 55 Wales 24

England outgunned Wales thanks to a succession of sublime tries in a 55-24 victory in the Women’s Summer Series.

Wales claimed a surprise early lead through Lucy Isaac but England’s quality shone through in the remainder of the first half.

Kira Leat got them on the board before a superb double from Evelyn Clarke and further highlight reel scores from Niamh Swailes and Millie Hyett put England in total control at the break.

Wales improved after half time and crossed on three occasions through props Maisie Davies and Cadi Davies and Molly Wakely but further tries from Leat, Millie David, Ellie Roberts and Sophie Langford made sure of a second successive victory for England.

Wales earlier came flying out the blocks and claimed a surprise lead inside five minutes through flanker Isaac.

The score came after England had given away a couple of cheap early penalties and Wales punished them to maximum effect as the Dragons star notched her second try in as many matches before Nel Metcalfe converted.

England rallied quickly though and reduced the arrears via a simple lineout drive, with prop Leat moving hooker Swailes out the way to dot down.

That gave England the platform they needed and they took on the role of aggressor from there, producing four sensational tries for a 29-7 half-time lead.

Clarke ran half the length to help push England ahead, collecting a clever offload from Hyett before outpacing the Welsh defence for a super corner score.

The Loughborough Lightning flyer bettered that try with an outstanding take from Ella Cromack’s cross-kick as England used the full width of the in-goal area to register a brilliant third try.

A loose Welsh return kick set up England’s fourth. Cromack gathered and spun to Millie David who danced past a few in red before offloading to Swailes and the hooker showed a remarkable turn of pace to scorch past the last two defenders.

Katie Shillaker started on the bench but made a huge impact early on in her second cap, with a powerful run and offload to reward Hyett’s clever support line.

England then struck first after the break to further their advantage courtesy of prop Leat after another irresistible lineout drive.

Wales fly-half Hanna Marshall nearly produced a score to rival England’s best but her mazy run was denied the points it deserved by a superb covering tackle from Shillaker.

Props Maisie Davies and Cadi Davies scored close-range tries in quick succession to give Wales hope but another pinpoint cross-kick from Cromack enabled Bristol Bears wing David to touch down for a seventh score which put England out of reach.

The sides then traded maul scores as Wakely crossed for Wales before Roberts responded and England had the final say through centre Langford.

Undefeated England play fellow high-flyers France on Sunday while Wales take on hosts Italy who are also looking to wrap up an unbeaten campaign.